|My News Feeds|
|Ballot Access News
The January 1, 2017 B.A.N. print issue carried election returns for the eight presidential candidates who got the most votes in November 2016. Unfortunately the internet version of that print issue chopped off the far right-hand column and Rocky De La Fuente’s votes are not posted. He received 33,136 votes, which is clear from the print version on paper, but not the internet version.
The February 1, 2017 B.A.N. print version has another 24 presidential candidates who were on the ballot in at least one state and received at least 1,000 votes.
For the sake of completeness, here are the final seven presidential candidates who were on the ballot somewhere but who did not get as many as 1,000 votes. They are:
1. Joseph Maldonado, independent, 962 votes.
Thanks to WaunaKeegan for help with this compilation.
Utah Republican Party Will Continue to Challenge Law that Lets Candidates Get on Primary Ballot by Petition (February 27, 2017, 12:14 PM)
On February 25, the Utah Republican Party changed its mind, and decided to continue to sue over the recent law that lets candidates petition for a spot on the primary ballot, even if they haven’t shown substantial support at a party nominating convention. See this story.
The Republican Party filed the lawsuit in January 2016, and lost in U.S. District Court. Utah Republicans are very uncomfortable with the law, which was passed in 2014. Every state has procedures for candidates to get on a primary ballot even if they lack support at a party meeting, but Utah has not had such a procedure in the past, and Republicans strongly desire to limit candidates in its primary to only those with at least 35% endorsement at a party convention. The lawsuit is Utah Republican Party v Herbert, Tenth Circuit number 16-4058.
North Carolina Bill, Making Local Judicial Races Partisan, Passes House (February 27, 2017, 11:09 AM)
On February 22, the North Carolina House passed HB 100. It makes local judicial elections partisan instead of non-partisan. Assuming the bill passes, all judicial elections in the state will be partisan. Already State Supreme Court elections, and State Appeals Court elections, are partisan.
The bill says independent candidates for local judicial office need a petition of 2% of the number of registered voters. This is lower than the existing requirement for independent candidates for legislature and U.S. House. Independents for those offices need 4% of the number of registered voters. The 4% standard is so difficult, no independent candidate for U.S. House or State Senate has ever appeared on a North Carolina general election ballot.
Pennsylvania Green Party Asks State Supreme Court to Put Cheri Honkala on Ballot for Special Legislative Election (February 26, 2017, 11:34 PM)
On February 21, the Pennsylvania Green Party asked the State Supreme Court to put Cheri Honkala on the March 21 special election ballot (for the state representative vacant seat in the 197th district). The case is Green Party of Pennsylvania v Department of State, 11 MAP 2017.
The link to Green Party (Supreme Ct Brief) also includes the order of the lower court, which had denied the request. The issue is the deadline for filing paperwork to be on the ballot. The statute appears to contradict itself. One reference in the statute suggests the deadline was January 30, but another suggests it is January 31. The party filed on January 31.
New York Times Carries Obituary for Jerome Tuccille, the Libertarian Party?s First Gubernatorial Candidate (February 26, 2017, 03:02 PM)
The New York Times has this obituary for Jerome Tuccille. He was tied for being the first Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate on the ballot in any state. The party had no gubernatorial candidates in any state until 1974. Tuccille got on the ballot in New York in 1974 and polled 10,503 votes. The party only had one other gubernatorial candidate in 1974 on the ballot in any state, in Minnesota. Thanks to Mark Axinn for the link.
February 2017 Ballot Access News Print Edition (February 26, 2017, 12:29 PM)
Ballot Access News
Table of Contents
BILLS TO EASE BALLOT ACCESS PENDING IN ELEVEN STATES
Bills to improve ballot access have been introduced in eleven states. One of them, the Kansas bill, has already been passed and signed.
Arizona: SB 1307 eases the June deadline for a party to file presidential elector candidates. The bill sets the deadline in late August. Although an early deadline to file the presidential electors may seem a trivial barrier, it has been a problem in the past. In 1996 the Libertarian Party missed the deadline, and in 2016 the Green Party missed it. Both times a court told the state to put the party?s presidential nominee on the ballot anyway
Georgia: HB 133 would reduce the number of signatures for independent and minor party candidates for district and county office from 5% of the number of registered voters, to 2% of the last vote cast for that office. For U.S. House in 2018, the petition in the average district would drop from 19,643 signatures to 4,921. The lead sponsor is Representative John Pezold (R-Columbus).
Illinois: SB 63 would lower the petitions for independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, to the same number that are now required for candidates seeking a place on a primary ballot. For statewide office, the petition would drop from 25,000 to 5,000. For U.S. House, the petition would drop from approximately 9,000 signatures to approximately one-tenth that number. The sponsor is Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon).
Indiana: SB 418 would lower the number of signatures for statewide independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, from 2% of the last vote cast for Secretary of State, to exactly 4,500 signatures for President, Governor, and U.S. Senate, and one-half of 1% for other office.
The current statewide requirement is 26,700 signatures, and that is unusually low, due to poor voter turnout in 2014. In the recent past the requirement has been as high as 35,040. The sponsor is Senator Greg Walker (R-Columbus), chair of the Senate Elections Committee. The existing law has made Indiana one of only four states in which Ralph Nader never qualified in any of his presidential runs.
Kansas: HB 2017 has already been signed into law. It eases ballot access for special U.S. House elections. The old law required a petition of 4% of the registered voters for an independent in a special U.S. House election (about 14,000 signatures in the typical district), even though in a regular election an independent needs exactly 5,000.
Also the bill removes a silly law that says qualified minor parties cannot run in the special election. The bill was signed on January 18, and took effect immediately.
Nebraska: LB 34 adds a second method for a qualified party to remain qualified. Current law says it must poll 5% for any statewide race at either of the last two elections. The bill adds a second method, that the party have at least 10,000 registered members. The author is Senator Laura Ebke, a member of the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party has about 11,000 registered members.
New Hampshire: HB 384 would set up a committee to study the state?s ballot access laws and how they should be improved. If the bill passes, the study will be completed by November 1, 2017, with recommendations for the 2018 session of the legislature. The author is Will Pearson (D-Keene), a member of the House Elections Committee.
New Mexico: HB 226 would lower the number of signatures for non-presidential independent candidates from 3% of the last gubernatorial vote, to the average number of signatures needed for candidates for that office who are seeking to get on a primary ballot. That would decrease the number of signatures for a 2018 statewide independent candidate from 15,390 to 1,342.
The bill also eases the number of signatures for minor party nominees. New Mexico is the only state that requires nominees (people who were nominated in a ballot-qualified minor party?s convention) to submit a petition. Ideally the bill ought to abolish such petitions, because the party already did its own petition and the nominee petitions are redundant. But it is better to ease these petitions than to do nothing. The statewide minor party nominee petition would drop from 5,130 to 1,342. Currently the Green Party, and Better for America, are the only ballot-qualified convention parties. The bill would have no effect on the Libertarian Party, which nominates by primary in 2018. The sponsor is Representative James E. Smith (R-Sandia).
North Dakota: HB 1417 makes two ballot access improvements: (1) it lowers the vote test for a party to remain on the ballot from 5% for certain specified statewide offices, to 2%; (2) it abolishes the primary vote test, a requirement unique to North Dakota that says if a party doesn?t attract between 10% and 15% of all primary voters to choose its primary ballot, then it can?t run any nominees for state legislature. This law is so devastating to minor parties, no minor party nominee for legislature has been on the November ballot since 1976. The bill?s sponsor is Representative Corey Mock, the Democratic leader in the House.
Oklahoma: One set of bills in each House would make it easier for a party to remain on the ballot. They would change the vote test from 2.5% for the office at the top of the ballot (president in presidential years, and governor in midterm years) to 2.5% for any statewide race at either of the last two elections. They are HB 1565 and SB 350.
Another set of bills would ease ballot access for presidential independents, from a petition of 3% of the last presidential vote (which would be 43,590 signatures in 2020), to either 5,000 signatures or a fee of $5,000. They are HB 1563 and SB 351.
Another bill, SB 145, would allow an independent presidential candidate to avoid a petition if he or she paid a fee of $2,500 per presidential elector. If the candidate submitted a full slate of presidential elector candidates the fee would be $17,500. Oklahoma has 7 electoral votes.
South Dakota: HB 1037 would allow stand-in candidates on independent petitions, for vice-president and lieutenant governor. It passed the House State Affairs Committee on January 20. This bill exists because independent gubernatorial candidate Michael Myers won a lawsuit over this issue in 2014.
A sponsor has been found for ballot access bills in Alabama, Pennsylvania and Texas. Also it is likely the Secretaries of State of Connecticut and West Virginia will find sponsors to repair ballot access laws that were struck down last year.
NEW HOPE FOR PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES
On January 5, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan heard arguments in Level the Playing Field v Federal Election Commission, 1:15cv-1397. This is the lawsuit over whether the Commission on Presidential Debates is violating federal campaign law, by paying for the general election presidential debates with corporate donations.
Federal law forbids corporations from contributing to federal candidates. The issue is whether the debates, which never include anyone but the Republican and Democratic nominees, are realistically events that boost the campaigns of those two parties against all their competitors. If so, the FEC has a duty to investigate, but the FEC has not done so.
Judge Chutkan seemed to believe that the FEC has not done its duty. She asked how she could give deference to the FEC, given that the FEC clearly has not even investigated the evidence that the Commission on Presidential Debates is composed of individuals who donate to the major parties and support them in other ways., and all the other evidence already submitted by plaintiffs.
BILLS TO USE RANKED-CHOICE FOR ALL PARTISAN ELECTIONS
Bills are pending in two states to provide for Ranked-Choice Voting (also known as instant runoff voting) in all partisan elections.
Connecticut: HB 6153 is sponsored by Representative Josh Elliott (D-Hamden).
Hawaii: SB 824 is sponsored by Senator Russell Ruderman (D-Puna) and six other legislators.
A similar Virginia bill, HB 2315, by Delegate Nicholas Freitas (R-Culpeper) was defeated in a subcommittee of the House Privileges & Elections Committee on January 26.
Bills to study IRV are pending in several other states.
BILLS TO ELIMINATE STRAIGHT-TICKET
Bills to repeal the straight-ticket device exist at least three states:
Iowa: Senator Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) has introduced SF 60.
Kentucky: Representative John Sims (D-Flemingsburg) has HB 157.
Oklahoma: Senator J. J. Dossett (R-wherever) has SB 9.
BILLS TO INJURE BALLOT ACCESS
Arkansas: SB 122, by Senator Gary Stubblefield, moves the primary from May to the first week in March, for all office, in all future years. The bill has the indirect effect of moving the petition deadline for non-presidential independents from early March, to December of the year before the election. It also moves the petition for a new party from January to September of the year before the election.
Arkansas is already being sued over the March independent candidate deadline. A sensible bill would move the primary but not move the petition deadlines, or else would make them later to avoid litigation.
Idaho: SB 1001 would convert Idaho to a top-two system. Experience shows that limiting the general election ballot to just two candidates means that the only party members who ever appear on the November ballot are Democrats and Republicans, except when only one major party member files to run in the primary. The sponsor is Senator Grant Burgoyne (D-Boise).
New Mexico: HJR 6 would covert New Mexico to a top-two system. It is a proposed constitutional change, so if the legislature passes it, then the voters would be asked to vote on it. The sponsor is Representative Anthony Maestas (D-Albuquerque).
South Dakota: HB 1035 would make it illegal for someone circulating a petition to qualify a new party to be paid on a per-signature basis. It passed the House unanimously on January 24. South Dakota already has a similar ban for petitions for candidates and initiatives.
Utah: SB 13 moves the deadline for a petition to qualify a party from February 15 to November 15 of the year before the election. It passed the Senate on January 23. The case law is overwhelmingly clear that such an extremely early deadline would be unconstitutional.
MARYLAND GOVERNOR DELETES BALLOT ACCESS IMPROVEMENT
In September 2016 the Maryland State Board of Elections drew up a proposed bill for 2017 election law changes. The bill included a proposal to lower the number of signatures for a statewide independent candidate from 1% of the number of registered voters (approximately 40,000) to exactly 10,000. However, in December, Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, ordered that part of the bill deleted.
This was surprising, because after a 2016 court ruling in Dorsey v Lamone, the Board had promised to try to persuade the legislature to pass that provision. The lawsuit had been filed by an independent candidate for U.S. Senate, Greg Dorsey, who argued that the state had no reason to require so many signatures for him, when it allows a new party to get on the ballot with 10,000 signatures. If the purpose of ballot access laws is to keep the ballot from being too crowded, it makes no sense to require four times as many signatures for a single independent, than for a new party, because a new party can run someone for every partisan office on the ballot, adding more names than just a single independent.
Under the court settlement, Dorsey is free to return to court and get a decision on declaratory relief. The judge already said the case is strong.
BOOK REVIEW: THE INEVITABLE PARTY
The Inevitable Party, by Seth E. Masket, Oxford University Press, 2016, 196 pages.
If there is any book that I wish all political activists and legislators would read, it is this one. Professor Masket is one of the leading political science researchers on political parties, and the information he presents is badly needed, at a time when so many well-meaning individuals believe political parties harm the United States.
Masket studied what happened in various states at various times, when state legislatures passed proposals to weaken political parties. His research determines that every time, the new policy backfires and the Democratic and Republican Parties are as powerful as they had been before the "reform" passed.
The earliest experiment described in the book occurred in Wisconsin in 1904, when the state became the first to use a direct primary for parties to nominate candidates. Contrary to expectations, the new primary system did not reduce polarization between the two major parties, it did not create greater diversity among the legislators from either major party, and most surprisingly, it did not even create a better fit between the views of legislators and the views of their constituents.
The next-earliest experiment in the book is Minnesota?s converting its state legislature to a non-partisan body in 1913. Even though party labels in legislative races disappeared from ballots, the legislators themselves organized into caucuses that strongly resembled caucuses in states that had partisan legislatures. At first the informal "two-party system" inside the legislature was centered on opposing views about the prohibition of alcohol. Starting in the late 1930?s, liberal and conservative caucuses organized and exerted discipline over their members. When the conservative caucus had a majority in a particular house, all the committee chairs would be named from the ranks of that caucus. Legislators who seemed disloyal to their own caucus were challenged in primaries by more loyal supporters of that caucus. Organized interests outside the legislature, i.e., business and labor, shored up each of the caucuses with money and organization.
Other chapters present research on Colorado?s 2002 experiment to limit contributions to parties; the Nebraska non-partisan legislature; and the California 2003 special gubernatorial election, which did not allow parties to formally have nominees
Why do parties exert control, regardless of what legal changes are made? Masket writes, "Parties are not rigid entities, limited in their appearances in legal definitions or business filings. They are, rather, networks of intense and creative policy demanders, working both inside and outside the government to determine the sort of people who get elected to office and thus change public policy. Making some aspect of party behavior illegal doesn?t remove or necessarily even weaken parties; it just makes for a new business environment for the policy demanders."
Also, "Parties are, quite simply, fiercely resilient entities, capable of adapting to reforms designed to weaken or kill them. But it is not so much that they are strong as that they are both endemic and essential to democratic governance." Masket presents the research that shows that non-partisan elections favor incumbents more than partisan elections do; cause lower turnout; cause more voter "dropoff" (failing to finish marking the ballot) and weaken accountability.
NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE PLAN BILLS
The National Popular Vote Plan has passed in Ca., D.C., Hi., Il., Md., Ma.,, N.J., N.Y., R.I., Vt, and Wa. Bills are pending in these states:
Arizona: HB 2277.
2016 MINOR PARTY STATE HOUSE VOTE
In 2014, totals for State House were: Libertarian 542,570; Working Families 167,797; Constitution 54,961; Green 52,509; other parties 481,441; independent candidates 410,118.
Parties in the other(1) column are: Alaska, Alaskan Independence; Mass., Pirate; N.Y., Conservative; Or., Progressive; S.C., American; Utah, Indp. American; Vt., Progressive; W.V., Socialist Equality; Wis., Veterans.
The other(2) column for New York is 27,359 Reform and 25,034 Women?s Equality.
2016 MINOR PARTY STATE SENATE VOTE
In 2014, the national totals for State Senate were: Libertarian 328,020; Working Families 169,927; Green 58,416; Constitution 35,737; other parties 336,063; independent candidates 251,674. In 2012, the national totals for State Senate were: Libertarian 599,772; Working Families 179,084; Green 85,743; Constitution 48,469; other parties 519,348; independent candidates 372,10y6.
Parties in the oth(1) column are: N.Y., Conservative; Or., Progressive; Utah, Independent American; Vt., Progressive. In the oth(2) column: Mn., Legal Marijuana Now; N.Y., 40,462 Women?s Equality and 38,377 Reform; Vt., Liberty Union.
2016 PRESIDENTIAL VOTE TOTALS
The January 1, 2017 BAN had presidential totals for the eight candidates who received the most votes. However, when that issue was published, the Rhode Island write-ins were unknown. The totals in that issue for Evan McMullin did not include his 732 Rhode Island write-ins. His new total is 732,001. Darrell Castle received 47 Rhode Island write-ins, so his new total is 203,024.
Besides the eight candidates in the January issue, there are sixteen candidates who polled at least 1,000 votes:
Richard Duncan, independent: Delaware 1, Florida 25, Indiana 25, Kentucky 2, Maryland 18, Minnesota 1, Ohio 24,235, West Virginia 1, total 24,308.
Dan Vacek, Legal Marijuana Now: Iowa 2,246, Minnesota 11,291, total 13,537.
Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers: Colorado 452, Louisiana 480, Minnesota 1,672, New Jersey 2,156, Tennessee 2,877, Utah 521, Vermont 2, Washington 4,307, total 12,467.
Mike Smith, independent: Arizona 62, Colorado 1,819, Connecticut 12, Delaware 3, Georgia 53, Idaho 7, Illinois 4, Kansas 6, Kentucky 9, Maryland 13, Minnesota 3, Montana 1, Ohio 62, Tennessee 7,276, Utah 19, Vermont 1, West Virginia 2, total 9,352.
Chris Keniston, Veterans: Colorado 5,028, Idaho 15, Kentucky 22, Louisiana 1,881, Minnesota 31, New York 90, Ohio 114, Vermont 6, Wisconsin 67, total 7,254.
Mike Maturen, American Solidarity: California 1,316, Colorado 862, Georgia 151, Idaho 56, Kansas 214, Kentucky 155, Maryland 504, Michigan 517, Minnesota 244, New York 458, Ohio 552, Rhode Island 33, Texas 1,401, Vermont 18, Wisconsin 284, total 6,765.
Lynn Kahn, independent: Arkansas 3,390, Delaware 1, Iowa 2,247, Kansas 2, Maryland 18, New York 72, total 5,730.
Jim Hedges, Prohibition: Arkansas 4,709, Colorado 185, Kansas 3, Maryland 5, Mississippi 715, total 5,617.
Tom Hoefling, America?s: Arizona 85, Colorado 710, Connecticut 31, Delaware 7, Georgia 70, Idaho 56, Illinois 175, Indiana 269, Kansas 45, Kentucky 39, Louisiana 1,581, Maryland 42, Michigan 95, Minnesota 28, Missouri 48, Montana 10, New York 136, Ohio 268, Tennessee 132, Texas 932, Utah 6, Vermont 1, West Virginia 10, Wisconsin 80, total 4,856.
Monica Moorehead, Workers World: Idaho 2, Mass. 15, Michigan 30, New Jersey 1,749, New York 68, Ohio 19, Texas 122, Utah 544, Wisconsin 1,770, total 4,319.
Laurence Kotlikoff, independent: Arizona 52, California 402, Colorado 392, Connecticut 23, Florida 74, Georgia 34, Idaho 5, Illinois 82, Indiana 49, Kentucky 8, Louisiana 1,048, Maine 16, Maryland 73, Massachusetts 28, Michigan 87, Minnesota 17, Missouri 28, Montana 7, Ohio 90, Tennessee 20, Texas 1,037, Utah 9, Vermont 4, West Virginia 4, Wisconsin 15, total 3,604.
Peter Skewes, American: Conn. 4, South Carolina 3,246.
Rocky Giordani, Independent American: Utah 2,752.
Emidio Soltysik, Socialist: Colorado 271, Indiana 57, Maryland 6, Michigan 2,209, Minnesota 15, Montana 1, New York 36, Texas 72, Utah 4, Vermont 2, Wisconsin 33, total 2,706.
Scott Copeland, Constitution of Idaho: Idaho 2,356.
Kyle Kopitke, Independent American: Colorado 1,096.
TWELVE INDEPENDENTS ELECTED TO STATE LEGISLATURES IN 2016
Vt.: Alyson Eastman, Adam Greshin, Ben Jickling, Barbara Murphy, Oliver Olsen, Paul Poirier, Laura Sibilia; Ak: Jason Grenn, Dan Ortiz; Me.: Owen Casas, Kent Ackley; R.I.: Blake Filippi.
SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL
If you use Paypal, you can subscribe to B.A.N., or renew, with Paypal. If you use a credit card in connection with Paypal, use firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t use a credit card in conjunction with Paypal, use email@example.com.
Go back to the index.
Copyright © 2017 Ballot Access News
Delaware Special Election Results (February 26, 2017, 12:00 PM)
Delaware held a special State Senate election, 10th district, on Saturday, February 25. The results: Democrat Stephanie Hansen 7,314 (58.13%); Republican John Marino 5,127 (40.75%); Libertarian Joseph D. Lanzendorfer 139 (1.12%).
When this seat had been up last time, in November 2014, the results had been: Democrat Bethany Hall-Long 6,230 (51.1%); Republican John Marino 5,963 (48.9%).
This month’s special election was key to determining which party would have a majority in the State Senate, so spending was the greatest ever in the history of Delaware State Senate elections. It is extremely rare to have a special legislative election (on an off-day in the normal election season) and have more votes cast in the special election, than had been cast in the last regularly-scheduled election, but that happened in this instance. The November 2014 total vote had been 12,293; this special election total vote is 12,580.
Pennsylvania Democratic Nominee Removed from the Ballot in Special Legislative Election (February 26, 2017, 01:00 AM)
Pennsylvania holds a special election for State House, 197th district, on March 21. This district is overwhelmingly Democratic and is in Philadelphia. On February 24, the Democratic nominee was removed from the ballot, after a state court determined he is not a resident of the district.
This is the same race in which Cheri Honkala, the Green Party nominee, was also removed from the ballot because one of her candidate forms was one day late. See this story. Pennsylvania does permit write-ins, so the fact that the Republican nominee is the only name on the ballot does not guarantee that the Republican will win.
Courthouse News Service Describes Oral Argument in Seventh Circuit on Full-Slate Lawsuit (February 26, 2017, 12:53 AM)
This Courthouse News Service article about the hearing in Libertarian Party of Illinois v Scholz seems to suggest that the Libertarian Party will prevail, based on the comments and questions the judges expressed during the oral argument.
Arizona Bill to Move Primary One Week Earlier Passes House Committees (February 25, 2017, 06:20 PM)
Arizona House Bill 2484 moves the primary from the 10th Tuesday before the general election to the 11th Tuesday. On February 20 it passed the House Rules Committee. If this bill had been in effect in 2016, the primary (for all office but president) would have been August 23, not August 30.
If the bill becomes law, the petition deadlines for newly-qualifying parties, and for non-presidential independent candidates, would become one week earlier.
Ad: History Posters! - History of the Union Army
Election and History Posters from History Shots!
Note: click will open in new window if pop-ups allowed